Both Sony Ericsson and HTC have confirmed that some of their handsets will be getting the upgrade to Android 2.1, which was host to a couple of new features, like new contact and account management, combined inbox, and Bluetooth 2.1. Some folks have been waiting for 2.1 on the Hero since before spring, and will be pretty happy about the update which has already landed in Taiwan. It looks like Sprint tried to push out a 2.1 update for the HTC Hero in May, but from the comments, it doesn’t sound like it went especially smoothly. Hopefully those with European versions will have an easier go. As far as the X10s go, they should have launched with something newer than 1.6 in the first place.
The HTC Hero came out about a year ago, which feels like ancient history considering how many Android phones have been released since then, but it’s good to see that even the older hardware can handle the latest operating systems, and should quell any worries about Android fragmentation. Sony Ericsson’s update will span the Xperia X10, X10 Mini, and the X10 Mini Pro, but specific to the X10 will be a few new features, like HD video recording, and beaming Timescape and Mediascape to your TV wirelessly. The recently-announced X8 will also get 2.1 sooner or later, but Sony Ericsson is still unsure whether or not they’ll launch with it.
The HTC Hero’s update will arrive by the end of the month, while the Xperias will get Android 2.1 “in the latter part of Q3″. Android 2.2 (a.k.a. Froyo) has a whole ton of new features, and it would be cool if these handsets could also handle the next upgrade, but let’s take it one step at a time.